How to Rotate the Screen on the iPod nano

Screen rotation only works on a single generation of Apple's music player

Apple iPod nano 16GB 6th Generation


The clip on the back of the 6th Generation iPod nano makes it a versatile device that can be attached to clothes, bags, and watchbands. Depending on how you clip the nano to things, you can end up with the screen that's oriented sideways or upside down, which makes it hard to read.

Information in this article applies to the 6th Generation iPad nano. Apple discontinued the iPod Nano on July 27, 2017.

How to Rotate the Screen of the 6th Generation nano

To rotate the screen on the 6th Generation iPod nano, place two fingers on the screen, then rotate your fingers in a circle.

Can You Rotate the Screen on Other iPad nano Models?

You cannot rotate the screens of other iPod nano models. There are two reasons for this: the lack of a touchscreen and the shape of the screens on other models.

On the 6th Generation model, the display can be rotated because it is a touchscreen. The 1st through 5th generation nanos are controlled with the click wheel, which only navigates onscreen menus and selects items. It doesn't offer a way to perform more complex actions such as rotate the screen.

The 7th Generation model features a touchscreen but it can't rotate for the second reason: the shape of the screen. The 7th Generation iPod nano, like other nano models except for the 3rd generation, has a rectangular screen and a user interface that's formatted to fit that shape. It's complex to take an interface designed for a screen that's tall and narrow and dynamically reorient it to fit a screen that's wide and thin. Not only that, it wouldn't provide benefits to the user. You'd see less on the screen and have to scroll and swipe more to do basic tasks.

The 3rd Generation nano uses a square screen, but because it has a click wheel and not a touchscreen, it can't be rotated either.

Want to learn more about how to use your iPod nano? Download the manual for it.

How Screen Rotation Works on iOS Devices

Apple devices that run iOS — such as the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad — use screens that can be reoriented. The way these devices work is different from the nano.

These devices incorporate accelerometers that detect when the device is turned and automatically adjust the screen to match its new physical orientation. This feature is always automatic.